Get­ting young peo­ple to like old mu­sic

Viet Nam News - - ENGLISH THROUGH THE NEWS - By An Phöông

Clas­si­cal

mu­sic is dif­fi­cult to lis­ten to, many peo­ple say. But the truth is, if it is per­formed cre­atively, it can bring joy to au­di­ences, es­pe­cially young peo­ple.

The Saøi Goøn Choir is one of the out­stand­ing groups that have brought clas­si­cal mu­sic closer to the young pub­lic in HCM City.

The three-year-old group, which op­er­ates un­der the HCM City Mu­sic Con­ser­va­tory, sched­ules about three clas­si­cal mu­sic con­certs with dif­fer­ent themes ev­ery year.

Huyønh Quang Thaùi, vo­cal coach at the con­ser­va­tory, and leader of the choir, says it takes sev­eral months to prac­tise for one con­cert.

"Most team members are stu­dents at the con­ser­va­tory and each per­son has a dif­fer­ent sched­ule," he says, ad­ding that they must have ex­ten­sive mu­si­cal skills.

Hoaøng Huy, a sopho­more at the con­ser­va­tory, says that clas­si­cal mu­sic can­not be per­formed care­lessly.

"This is to re­tain au­di­ences' ex­pec­ta­tions, es­pe­cially those that are se­ri­ous about this mu­si­cal genre," Huy says, ad­ding that re­hearsals and prac­tice are es­sen­tial to good per­for­mances.

Some hun­dred seats are sold at each con­cert, with tick­ets rang­ing from VNÑ100,000 to VNÑ400,000.

"Though I know a stan­dard ticket might cost less than a movie ticket, and that we should charge more, we can't do this be­cause peo­ple wouldn't come to the show," choir­mas­ter Thaùi says.

The amount of rev­enue gained on the group's luck­i­est days is only enough to cover pro­duc­tion costs of one con­cert.

"Some­times we need to use money earned from other com­mer­cial shows to cover our losses at the con­cert," he says.

How­ever, all of the choir members are truly happy to be able to pur­sue

what they gen­uinely love.

"To be able to per­form is the great­est gift," Thaùi says.

Nguyeãn Töông Vieät Tuù, a group mem­ber who works both as a neu­rol­o­gist and artist, says: "When­ever I'm on stage, I feel 'alive'. And that's the very mo­ment that I don't just 'ex­ist'."

To many peo­ple, es­pe­cially youth, clas­si­cal mu­sic can be dif­fi­cult to re­late to or un­der­stand.

How­ever, to Thaùi and other clas­si­cal mu­sic lovers, the genre is no dif­fer­ent than oth­ers in that its melodies

can lift peo­ple's moods.

"It's up to the lis­ten­ers' imag­i­na­tion to pic­ture what is be­ing played or sung. Keep that in mind, and it is much eas­ier to 'feel' the mu­sic," Huy says.

In­ter­est­ingly, many sound­tracks used for epic block­busters use clas­si­cal mu­sic.

"You might not no­tice it, but what you've heard and felt good about is mixed on the ba­sis of this kind of mu­sic," choir­mas­ter Thaùi says. "I think it is not only the older gen­er­a­tions or oth­ers who de­sire aca­demic mu­sic."

"Clas­si­cal mu­sic can­not be per­formed care­lessly," many artists agreed.

To reach out to the young gen­er­a­tion, the Saøi Goøn Choir not only adds mod­ern twists to clas­si­cal tunes but also remixes trend­ing or pop­u­lar songs.

"We've cov­ered some folk songs such as Qua Caàu Gioù Bay, Say Some­thing and The Moon Rep­re­sents My Heart that have re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back," Thaùi says.

Many peo­ple do not ex­pect a pop­u­lar song to sound this way, so that has helped break peo­ple's stereo­types about clas­si­cal mu­sic.

That be­ing said, remix­ing is just one of sev­eral ways to at­tract the au­di­ence. The group still per­forms purely clas­si­cal pieces.

The Saøi Goøn Choir's Face­book fan­page also re­ceives a lot of in­ter­est as they reg­u­larly post teasers about their up­com­ing per­for­mances.

"This was an in­tel­li­gent move be­cause I was able to ex­pe­ri­ence the mu­sic be­fore de­cid­ing to com­mit," Thu Thaûo, 21, says.

Ngoïc Anh, a friend of Thaûo, says: "I first knew about the Saøi Goøn Choir three months ago when a friend of mine shared a short video in which the group sang my song."

The choir mostly per­forms at the HCM City Mu­sic Con­ser­va­tory.

"Since we do not have enough of a bud­get to rent an­other con­cert hall, and we re­quire par­tic­u­lar set­ups, we're happy with our space so far," Thaùi says.

Dis­cus­sions are still be­ing held over con­struc­tion of a new the­atre in HCM City's Thuû Thieâm Penin­sula. The Saøi Goøn Choir, among sev­eral mu­sic groups, hope to be able to per­form there with­out bear­ing a fi­nan­cial bur­den.

"We'll never get tired of in­tense prac­tices as long as we can be on stage and de­liver what we've got to the crowd," Thaùi says. VNS

are short clips that are made to get peo­ple in­ter­ested in some­thing, such as a per­for­mance.

"This was an in­tel­li­gent move be­cause I was able to ex­pe­ri­ence the mu­sic be­fore de­cid­ing to com­mit," Thu Thaûo, 21, says.

Teasers

To

"Since we do not have enough of a bud­get to rent an­other con­cert hall, and we re­quire par­tic­u­lar set­ups, we're happy with our space so far," Thaùi says.

is a plan that is put to­gether on how to spend your

bud­get

The Saøi Goøn Choir, among sev­eral mu­sic groups, hope to be able to per­form there with­out bear­ing a fi­nan­cial bur­den.

means car­ry­ing.

A is a prob­lem that feels heavy to carry. A fi­nan­cial bur­den is one that is to do with money.

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